If I were writing a book about my life, this chapter would be called “Gravy is Stupid” (even though we don’t say that. But it is. Stupid.) I rarely eat meat, but am raising at least one carnivore and sleep every night with another and they both love gravy. Grant reminded me yesterday that he never got a I-get-to-pick-whatever-I-want-for-dinner-cause-it’s-my-birthday dinner, so I took his request: roast beast with gravy, potato casserole and strawberries and went to town. Except I cannot make gravy. Cannot. Make. Gravy. I have Allrecipes on my computer right here in the kitchen and have consulted it often, but the closest I can come is gravy flavored jello that falls out of the gravy boat in one gelatinous gloop while Peter and I look on in horror. Tonight it was too runny even though I followed the recipe to a t. Even with the aid of my new fat separator from a dear friend who feels my pain, but has her own issues with meat (you know who you are), I can’t do it. But I’m taking it to the mattress because the menfolk are asking for it and I like to please, so if you have any tips, pass them along. Until then…gravy is stupid.
I’ll post pics of the finished coop when I get my second wind. Again.
I hate HATE what Disney has done to classic pooh. The originals as written by A.A. Milne are among my favorite books. They are beautifully written and have nearly nothing in common with the fat yellow bear and cutesy cartoonish characters on baby clothes and tv. A.A. Milne dreamed up Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood, using his son’s stuffed animals as models, to be bedtime stories for him and only put them to paper once his boy was grown up and Milne was wistful for him. He lived in England, of course, where nearly all lovely things come from and the originals are dripping with goodness. Get your hands on some now.
So tonight I snuggled in with Gussie and some classic Pooh and read this:
Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
“Pooh?” he whispered.
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
~from The House At Pooh Corner
And I nearly wept thinking of the sweetness of this. I do that. Often, in the quiet of the night I go and lay a hand on one of my baby’s gently rising and falling back and just spend a second being sure of them. I do this with Dan in the middle of the night when I roll over and reach out to feel his smooth shoulder, just to be sure of him. And I do this with God. Especially when things are crazy and I’m done, just done, and I feel so empty. I sidle up to God, through prayer, the Bible, being still and listening. I know he’s present. He promises that he always is. But sometimes I forget and then I have to find a way to sidle up. Just to be sure.
Crazy week around here. From moving the Kevins into their new, almost finished coop to many playdates with friends and too much sun and not enough time. I feel like a chicken with her head cut off, and since witnessing the phenom of headless, running chickens last winter, I can use that idiom with a fair degree of certainty that it’s what I look like. Now Lucy has a fever of 104 and Tess cut her hair short on one side and the garbage disposal has a leak in it, so I had to put an old 9×13 under it to catch the water which smells like someone getting a perm in a brothal in the back alleys of Calcutta. And while a sick kid doesn’t fit into my plans to start painting the barn this weekend, I think I have to chalk this one up to Jesus. He knew I needed to slow down. Why I have to slow down this suddenly, is a mystery, but I think I’ll just try to see this bump in the road as a gift. What better way to pass the day than with a sick, hot baby in your arms and your eyes closed, running through your prayer list that’s been neglected and maybe, just maybe, catching your breath? And now Tess tells me the sea (bathtub) in fake Mexico (master bathroom) is overflowing which sounds like a natural disaster I should attend to fairly quickly and since I hear Junebug mewling, I have just enough time to call in the coast guard before I get back to the day God has set before me. And soon the boys will come home and Dan will come home and then it will feel like all is right in my world and if I’m lucky, I’ll have taken this opportunity to rest and I’ll be ready for the next curveballs that’ll be thrown. Perhaps I’ll even have a little time to write. You know. About me. Being real.
I tried unsuccessfully to upload some video I shot of the Kevins as we found them this afternoon upon returning from the zoo. Words can’t really do it justice. We’d recognized for a couple days that they were quickly outgrowing their brooding box and needed to move to the garage to a larger one, however, today clinched the deal. We opened our door to find ten Kevins running around the back hall (which was mercifully shut off from the rest of the house), with crap all over the place. All over. Three Kevins were missing but were eventually located in and behind the recycling bin. And although Chickens: The Essential Poultry Publication swayed me into thinking escape was unlikely, it indeed is. So, an hour later, after having to scrape chick poo off the floor with my cooktop scraper and then scrub the floor with a scour pad and lysol, we have the cleanest, chick free back hall. And the Kevins? They’re out in the garage in time out, taking some time to think about what they did. We’re having chicken nuggets for dinner tomorrow. Little ones.
We celebrated Easter at church tonight and, while a Saturday evening Easter Sunday is unusual, it was nice. Really nice. And I’ve just received my replacement copy of The Vision and the Vow by Pete Greig from Amazon (and to continue the shameless plug, you can order it from Amazon below) which is a book you really need to get your hands on because it is truth and it is transformational. In it he quotes Habakkuk, which says:
“Write this. Write what you see..
Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming.
It aches for the coming-it can hardly wait!
And it doesn’t lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
It’s on its way.
It will come on time.
Look at that man, bloated by self-importance-full of himself but soul-empty.
But the person standing before God through loyal and steading believing
is fully alive, really alive.”
Habakkuk 2:2-4 (msg)
And I’ve been convicted that the rest of my life needs to be a billboard for Jesus in which he’s written out in big block letters that are so big they can be read on the run by all the millions of people who are running…from addiction, from shame, from death, from, from… And in order to do this I need to stop running myself from all the sins that are right on my heels. Because the vision is Jesus on the cross, suffering for me. Dying for me. Even though I don’t deserve it even sort of. And I can never be worthy of that, but I can write and talk and I can wait with all of creation who groan in anticipation of his coming again and so do I. The only way to speed it up is to be a part of the message, telling people that this story is so good. So good. Even though it has scary parts and ugly acts and lots of people who die or are punished, even though there is a bad guy who fights really hard, even though the climax sees Jesus nailed to a tree.
Our lesson tonight at church began with these words, “The message of Easter is that Jesus wins.”
That’s the message that needs to be written in big block letters in this place where there is so much darkness that it’s easy to forget that Jesus wins. Jesus wins.
Only a Nana can get away with bringing over those horrible bakery cupcakes with the little forky decoration things stuck in them and that have about 97 grams of sugar per ounce and lots of dyes. And a Nana can do this quite nicely if she is celebrating the sun with her grandbabies, all 13 of them, who are covered in frosting and mud from the creek and chick feathers and all sorts of other wonderful summer like things. Nanas are totally entitled.
The only caveat is that I get to lick the frosting off the baby’s face.
No, seriously. I do. It’s a mama’s prerogative. It’s in the bylaws.
Hold still. Mama’s gonna get her some sugar.
You need me to suck it off your fat fingers too? O.K. I’m in.
Nope, you don’t get to do it yourself. Nice try.
Tomorrow I’m rolling her in chocolate, then going at her with a jar of peanut butter and a spatula.
I’ve just received an email from my sister in Norway who I posted about a couple days ago. She is not pregnant. Can I ask you for prayers again for her and her husband as they are heart broken and must now lay to rest their dream of having biological children? I was just searching Psalms for understanding and came across this in Psalm 30 that is what I’m going to be praying for her. Will you join me, please?
To you, O Lord, she called;
to the Lord she cried for mercy:
What gain is there in her destruction,
in her going down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
Hear O Lord, and be merciful to her;
O Lord, be her help.
(Would you please) turn her wailing into dancing;
(would you) remove her sackcloth and clothe her with joy,
that her heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O Lord her God, she will give you thanks forever.
I have a friend (you know who you are) who cried out to the Lord for a baby and He literally delivered one to her doorstep. It’s what I’m praying for Veti and Ole-Kristian. That God would miraculously deliver a baby to their doorstep. Or find some other way to grow them a family. And we will. WILL. Give Him thanks forever.